It might be difficult for fans of the Indianapolis Colts to get real excited about Super Bowl XLVII, since the boys in blue and white were knocked out of the playoffs by the Baltimore Ravens, but there are actually four reasons why Colts fans should care about the NFL's title game and why, in particular, they might find themselves rooting for the San Francisco 49ers.
Four players and coaches from the 49ers have ties to the Indianapolis Colts or to Indiana, giving Colts fans--and Hoosiers in general--several reasons to cheer for San Francisco.
In alphabetical order:
San Francisco's defensive coordinator has been around the NFL for over 20 years, and part of that vast experience came in Indianapolis, where Fangio served as the Colts' defensive coordinator from 1999-2001. The Colts went a combined 29-19 during Fangio's tenure, winning the AFC East in 1999 and making the playoffs twice.
The enthusiastic head coach of the 49ers played quarterback for the Colts from 1994 through 1997, throwing for 8,705 yards, 49 touchdowns, and just 26 interceptions. Harbaugh also ran for 856 yards and three scores in a Colts uniform.
"Captain Comeback" was selected to the 1995 Pro Bowl and named the 1995 AP's NFL Comeback Player of the Year after leading the Colts to the 1995 AFC Championship Game--a contest that ended in a crushing loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers after a Hail Mary pass from Harbaugh slipped out of Aaron Bailey's hands in the end zone.
Harbaugh was inducted into the Colts' Ring of Honor in 2005. His sister, Jackie, is married to Indiana University men's basketball head coach Tom Crean.
Seely serves as the Niners' assistant head coach and special teams coordinator and, as with Fangio, he has coached for over 20 years in the NFL. That career began in Indianapolis in 1989, where he served as the Colts' special teams and tight ends coach until 1993.
Williams played in every game of his career with the Irish until a knee injury cost him the final four games of his senior year. He returned to play in the 2010 Sun Bowl--a 33-17 Notre Dame victory over Miami--and was signed as an undrafted free agent by the 49ers in 2011.
Williams' playing time has been limited so far in the NFL, but in four game appearances for San Francisco, he has three solo tackles.
Are you rooting for the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII?